10 July - 29 August 2020
Tuesday – Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm.
Closed Public Holidays
ACP Project Space Gallery
19-21 Foley Street, corner of Crown Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
In response to the current global pandemic, Liss Fenwick's series Two Flights documents her experience of internal air travel and two weeks isolation in a Darwin hotel room. The psychological shifts she experienced are manifest in her heightened observation and close focus on the mundane. These sombre vignettes of distanced engagement with nature, static environments and restricted human interaction become moments of release during the monotonous passing of hours and days.
Two Flights documents my journey from Melbourne to Darwin, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to be with an ailing parent in hospital. The transit was dystopian: the border forces and the army occupying nearly deserted airports; and entry to mandatory quarantine, via a bus under police escort to an unspecified location. The Northern Territory government enacted the only self-funded quarantine in the country. It was mandatory for all interstate arrivals as a necessary way of controlling the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring the protection of vulnerable Aboriginal communities.
I felt conflicted by the weirdly authoritarian nature of the experience: the imposing presence of uniforms in the airports; and the police compliance checks during quarantine. Travellers as potential contagions. And there were aspects that didn’t make sense, such as the 1.5m separation enforced in airport queues that lead onto a crowded plane. These lent the experience an absurd quality.
During my time in the hotel room, I noticed shifts in my perception. Small details in the room took on disproportionate significance. A piece of fingernail torn off by a previous guest became a feature that drew my attention. This shift in importance seemed related to the virus: it being microscopic yet cataclysmic. I began to consider the dual meaning of flight: the beautiful idea of freedom, taking flight; and also, the desperate escape from danger, fleeing.
About the Artist
Liss Fenwick’s work combines documentary-style photography with long-term conceptual and aesthetic visions. Her signature visual language was developed on location, in areas of bush surrounding her rural hometown of Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory and across northern Australia. Underpinning Liss' creative practice is a keen observation of nature and an appreciation for complex human-ecological connectivities.
Liss is currently undertaking her PhD candidature at RMIT, Melbourne. Her work has been shortlisted for several major prizes across Australia, including Banyule Prize for Works on Paper, Hatch Contemporary (2019); Contemporary Landscapes in Photography Award, Perth Centre for Photography (2019); and Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Prize (2018). In 2018, Liss was awarded the Macquarie Group Emerging Artist Prize.
Liss Fenwick, Two Flights series 2020
Qantas terminal empty, Melbourne Airport 2
Compliance check by NT Police 1 (camera on self-timer)
Nail clipping from previous hotel room guest
Sickle moon through room window
Baby dragonfly found on room windowsill
Food delivery bags
All images courtesy and © of the Artist